A Question Of Writing And Visual Art

Yesterday, we went to hang a painting — a painting of the house in which I grew up, a painting by my Aunt Dottie — above our fireplace. We needed a new frame, however, so we went out and bought one.

(Her watercolor in question:)

USE_homestead

Ahh, but when we took the painting out, we found another painting of hers on the back. And, we found someone else’s painting on the — forgive me, I’m a bit of an art-tard, backing? Matting? Art Bolsterfication Layer? Apologies, I go feeling around for terminology and I find only vacant space and howling winds.

Anyway.

The painting painted upon that sub-stratum of the frame is this one here (**FYI: removed some text of this post as it was offensive — apologies for any offense caused**).

discovered art

Heck, for all I know my aunt painted that. I don’t suspect it to be so, as I’ve lived with her art for most of my life and find it nothing like this — Aunt Dottie’s paintings always possess what I’m now at this very moment calling “country ethereal,” that feeling that you are both looking at something real and something out of a dream (which I find to be one of the strengths of watercolor, but again, what do I know)?

It’s possible, looking at the painting again, that the individual is sitting in a chair, yes. But it’s also possible that the thing in his/her right hand is a sawed-off shotgun. Which takes this painting to a whole other level, you ask me. Plus, that teal burst of color over the individual’s left shoulder could be a wing. But — where’s the other wing? Clearly broken. So now this becomes “Angel Fallen To Earth (With Sawed-Off Shotgun) In Repose Or Some Shit.” Great stuff, and suddenly I’m getting a story in my head about who this poor weird angel happens to be.

Who is this angel?

Why the shotgun?

Who is painting her/him?

Anyway.

I realize I’m rambling, but fuck it, it’s a Saturday post, and nobody looks at those anyway. My point is, I think I should maybe rely more on the visual arts to offer inspiration. Much as it’s difficult for me to take inspiration for music, it’s quite the opposite when looking at a photograph, a painting, a sculpture, an installation of some ilk. Hell, I look at my Chicken Plus Tractor photo —

American Gothic II: Diesel Boogaloo

From it came this short story: “Lethe And Mnemosyne.”

And then I look at the art on our walls — Erte prints (one of which inspired the Qedeshah in Vampire: The Requiem), or goofy pop culture art by someone like Brandon Bird (we own several, such as “No One Wants To Play Sega With Harrison Ford,” or “Elysium“). I look all the art deco peppered around the house on shelves and counters. Plus: photos. I take shit-tons of photos. Thousands in a month.

Then I look to the work of friends, friends like Andrew Conti or Steven Belledin (both of whom comment here, and the latter of whom you possibly recognize for all his kick-ass genre work).

And then I think back to Aunt Dottie, whose own work inspired me very early, and who herself inspired me to be an artist of some ilk.

And I’m like, damn. I need to pay better attention to this stuff. It’s a gold mine of brain activity. It is a buzzing hive of inspirado.

You want to know where the Muse lurks? You can go hunt her ass down and make her wiggle.

So, once again I look to you. The Masses Wiser Than I, the Aggregate Awesome of the Terribleminds Experience. (All these are band names and album names, by the way. Feel free to partake.)

What art is on your walls? Or on your shelves?

Further, as artists and storytellers, what inspires you visually?

What artists do you like, love, follow, hate?

Links, too, if you got ’em. Spread it all around.